Poison Ivy

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Poison Ivy

Poison ivy rash

You can get a poison ivy rash from touching poison ivy, or touching something that has touched poison ivy. The most common way to get poison ivy is from touching the leaves. You can also get it by breathing smoke from firewood burning with poison ivy on it and touching the poison ivy vine or roots.

Poison ivy is a very common plant found in most parts of the United States. Most people are sensitive to the plants' oily sap. The sap is in the root, stems, leaves and fruit of these plants. If it gets on your skin, it causes a blistering skin rash . The rash can range from mild to severe, depending on how much sap gets on your skin and how sensitive you are to it. Problems can also happen if the plants are burned. Airborne sap-coated soot can get into the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system.

The rash is caused by skin contact with the oily sap (or resin) of these plants. Smoke from burning these plants can cause the same reaction. The oily resin usually enters the skin rapidly, and is seldom transferred from person to person. The rash is NOT caused by the fluid from the blisters. Thus, once the person has washed the oil off the skin, the rash is usually not contagious.

Poison ivy usually appears on the body in the areas where the skin is the thinnest. The arms, the legs (especially the shins), and the face are affected most often. The rash will break out in a straight line of blister that itch intensely, or in patches of red, bumpy skin. About five days later, the blisters crack open and release a watery discharge. It takes at least a week to two weeks for the irritation to heal. Most people can treat themselves at home, with no need to see a doctor.

Treatment

Poison ivy dermatitis usually resolves within one to three weeks without treatment. The most common complication is bacterial skin infection; the risk of infection can be reduced by keeping the area clean and dry and avoiding scratching and rupturing the blisters. Signs of infection may include increasing redness, tenderness and pus. Some people develop skin color changes after poison ivy dermatitis resolves. These changes tend to occur in people with darker skin types and usually resolve without treatment.

About the Author

Nadeeka Johnson is an experienced article writer with over a 1,000 articles covering a wid variety of topical written at www.allstop.com/poison-ivy/poison-ivy-treatment

Poison Ivy
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